By Stephanie Leaf
For almost 23 years, the Plumas Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has been rescuing, providing medical care, and finding loving homes for the many abandoned, neglected, and homeless cats in Plumas County. In that time, we’ve seen lots of ups and downs.
We thought that 2020, with its pandemic, economic crises, fires, and evacuations, was the worst year possible. We couldn’t imagine another year like it.
But the crises of 2020 weren’t done with us yet. Once again in 2021, we were faced with devastating fires and the need for evacuations, with economic crises and the threat of the pandemic.
“You’re the cat’s meow!” is an old-fashioned expression that people used when they wanted to say that someone was absolutely terrific. Here are some of the wonderful people and organizations who helped us through the highs and lows of 2021, and who are truly “the cat’s meow.”
In July the Dixie Fire threatened our community and ravaged the town of Greenville. Out of an abundance of caution, we evacuated the Cathouse in the middle of the night when an evacuation warning was issued. You don’t know what fun is until you’ve spent the night stuffing 30 unhappy cats into carriers and loading them into a horse trailer.
When the cats had to be evacuated a second time, the wonderful people at High Sierra Animal Rescue (HSAR) took in many of our evacuees and helped us with needed supplies. Special thanks to HSAR folks Hannah and Kimberly who were there when we needed them, showing what compassion, caring and teamwork are all about.
Compassion and caring were also the watchwords in the services provided by the UC Davis Veterinarian Emergency Response Team (VERT). They worked tirelessly in partnership with PAWS and the Plumas County Animal Shelter to provide free medical services to many of the animals victimized by the Dixie Fire.
Although our immediate surroundings escaped the fire’s wrath, our hearts ached for our Greenville neighbors. The Cathouse received tons of calls, many not cat-related, about where to go for help of various kinds. Our wonderful volunteers responded with sensitivity, helpful information, and an unflagging willingness to lend a sympathetic ear. We also worked closely with the County Animal Shelter to make sure they had room to house the Greenville cats rescued or evacuated from the terrible fire.
With these crises, it’s no surprise that our adoption and donation rate for 2021 has been down somewhat from last year. Still, we managed to rescue, provide medical care, and find loving homes for hundreds of abandoned, neglected, and homeless cats in Plumas County. We also continued our distribution of spay/neuter discount certificates to Plumas residents unable to afford the cost of this surgery on their own.
We couldn’t have done this without the tireless efforts of our directors, Alice Parlier and Louise Delaney, board members Barbara Montandon and Melissa Bishop, and especially our incredible volunteers: Janay, Johanna, John, Karl, Krissy, Betty, Kerry, Elijah, Sarah, Bevin, Christine, Adam, the Alive crew of Shateka, Jeremy and Heidi, and many others. A special very loud shout-out to volunteer Liz Vickers-Zeiner who is always willing to go that extra mile. Thanks also to Plumas Bank in Chester for hosting several of our Adoption Days.
And we couldn’t have done any of this without our donors. It’s due to you that PAWS kept on purring and moving forward through this difficult year.
So we want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity. We hope we can continue to count on your support as we work to save the lives of the many beautiful innocent creatures still in need of loving homes. You are all “the cat’s meow.”
In response to current conditions, the Cathouse is open by appointment only. We require masks and practice recommended distancing. To view our fabulous felines or to learn more about our work, call 283-5433 or email us at [email protected].
And yes, we always need money. Donations can be made through our Facebook page or sent to PAWS, Box 125, Quincy 95971.
From all of us at the Cathouse (especially the cats) we wish you and your family a safe and serene holiday season and a better year to come in 2022. Merry Catsmas to all!